Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Weird Coincidence

Tripping quickly through the blogs I read, one asked what the bust up was in front of Dick Cheney (I'll try to find it tommorrow) and he wanted to know what happened. Turns out it was a protestor who "put up quite a fight" according to Fox News as security tried to get her out of there. Here's the weird part. While checking out my stats, it turns out someone came here from Occasional Random Thoughts On the Ephemera Of Life, probably via the random blog link at the top of the page. Well, I went to look at it and I found this quote.
Months ago it was suggested that people should pretend to be Republicans and volunteer to work at the convention, then do whatever they can to mess things up. I'm glad to find out that at least one person has followed through - a Yale student managed to get within 10' of Dick Cheney before loudly denouncing the war. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that there are dozens more there and that they are creating confusion wherever and whenever possible.

He's a leftist whose posts seem sympathetic to Code Pink, and noted leftist umbrella group, United for Peace and Freedom, whose organization list is a who's who of leftist and anti-American groups, including the Communist Party of the US and some real hate America nutjobs.


DNC and the RNC viewing habits

Just in case someone comes here via some other way than a weird google search, and for the benefit of my three (lost one somewhere) occasional readers, I'd like to explain my technique for viewing the national conventions of both the Democrat party and the Republican party. First, I stick with C-Span. Secondly I leave it on until I get a) disgusted, b) bored, c) freaked out, or d) start to doze off.

I missed most of the Democrat National Convention. They consistently failed to keep my attention, and/or pissed me off, and/or bugged me. I had expected the Republican National Convention to be the same way. Frankly my expectations of either party has never been really high. I watched all of Barack Obama's speech and was impressed by it, but every other speaker turned me off. It built on that. The worse it got, the less inclined I was to change the channel back from Sci-Fi channel, or Comedy Central, and ended up missing a lot of it.

Expecting the same thing to happen with the RNC I watched it anyway (almost didn't bother on the first night). Ed Koch held me. Rudy Guilliani held me. Even John McCain held me. The 9/11 widows held me. Former Police Chief of New York held me. The RNC program pretty much kept me on C-Span for the night. Watched almost the entire thing.

The second night consisted of me ignoring the television while I chatted with my wife. Nothing exciting to begin with, then suddenly...... coolness, good re-run of Stargate SG-1. Ooooh, tennis with some hot blonde, a couple of seconds of oogling and the television was back on C-Span, then quickly on to some program on USN Seals. Back to C-Span and damned if I didn't miss the very very beginning of Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech, but the rest kept me in rapt attention. Then the Bush Girls came on, and in the words of The English Beat, "click, click...click, click, click." Back to Sci-Fi channel, Tech TV (ruined since its merger with G4 and vice versa), then the end of Barbara Bush's speech. Then the Harlem Boys Choir. They were good. At some point during my convention night channel surfing I found out that Dana Glover is an attractive woman with a great voice.

So far the Republicans have been far more successful at keeping my limited attention than the Democrats. But then the Democrats failed to keep me as a supporter too.


The Governator

I just watched Arnold Schwarzenegger give his speech at the Republican National Convention. I liked it. I liked what he said about immigration, opportunity, our military, the war on terror, and America's perseverance. I loved what he said about not having to agree with all the Republican platform points. I'm sure not everyone liked it, but as a "South Park Republican" and a neo-con I liked it. It was a point the Democrats failed to make, and should have, but I doubt that many of them are familliar with their party's actual platform.

Governor Schwarzenegger related how he chose to be a Republican. It was after having seen Richard M. Nixon speak. I'm sure this relation will be harped on by his adversaries. Because of C-Span 2, I've actually been able to see Nixon's speech at the 1968 RNC. It's incredibly impressive and I can see how it affected him. I'm glad I did get to see him speak since Nixon is of little actual interest to me and I wouldn't have gotten to see that side of his history. In fact the only part of Nixon's history I actually know is the bad stuff, now I know a bit more and that helped put a bit more perspective on Arnold Schwarzenegger's speech.

He's also a dang good speaker. Better than I had known. I had assumed he would be, but when I was living in California I never got to see an entire speech by him. It simply wasn't a priority for the broadcast news there. I got to see soundclips and snippets of his speeches, but I'm guessing there was too much in the state more important than the recall at the time. God forbid we should miss a re-run of Everybody Loves Raymond, or That 70's Show in order to show any of the speeches by those running at the time.

He spoke more than a few words about the military and our men and women in the military. Arnold Schwarzenegger never served in the US military. He's not an American veteran. He did, however, serve his time in the Austrian Army (tank driver, Graz Tank Unit Panzer Battalion); compulsory service there. Oh, and he went AWOL. Yup Arnold Schwarzenegger went AWOL from the Austrian Army; why? To compete in a body building tournament. He didn't desert. He went back, got put in the brig, and was then allowed to compete officially. Having won the Junior Mr. Europe competition with a perfect score probably helped mitigate his problem. I don't know how it is in the Austrian Army but from my experience in life I'd bet that the old sayings of, "Nothing succeeds like success," and "It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission," probably works there too.


Update: Oh, and public speaking and humorous interpretation do not seem to be strong points for the Bush girls (I think I just like using that phrase). I don't know exactly what they said, because I couldn't much stand watching them.

Update: Here's a page with a Feed of The Governator I found last night. Hopefully it'll still work by the time ya'll read this.

Nixon and Kerry

C-Span 2 is showing Nixon at the 1968 Republican national Convention. Dunno why. Can't help but think it's a not so surreptitious attempt to associate Nixon with Bush. Maybe, maybe not. Problem is that he sounds like he's regurgitating John Kerry. Claiming that he can get international allies to take a part in Vietnam and lessen America's commitment. He is saying how the quiet/loyal opposition has supported its country and president but it was now time for a change, to change the failed policy of the incumbent. It sounds a lot like what the Kerry campaign is putting forth.


I can see why he won so handily though. It's a powerful speech, an impressive speech, a speech that is both strong on defense, praising of our military personnell, internationalist and anti-war. All without seeming to be contradictory, since none of it is automatically exclusive.

It's strange looking back at this, knowing what I know, but understanding why he was voted in at such a large margin. Knowing what a paranoid prick he was, not that people weren't out to get him.

Weird. Glad I wasn't of age and around back then. I probably would have voted for him, not knowing what was going in that mind of his, or what the future was going to hold. I would have, like with Clinton, felt embarassed and ashamed of voting for him.


Monday, August 30, 2004

Crowd Boos Kerry Girls

WTF??? The Daily Recycler has footage of the Kerry girls on MTV. Pretty funny stuff. Both funny "ha ha" and funny strange. If you can't get support from the MTV crowd.......

I saw a small bit of it on Fox News last night, but nothing on CNN; again, not that they didn't show it at all, but I have a low tolerance for CNN since 1) their attitude during their coverage of the first Gulf War, 2) Their idiocy during Somalia and Mogadishu, and 3) their concious support for Saddam Hussein. Because of this I can't seem to put up with CNN for more than 30 minute slices, which is part of the reason I go to breakfast at the hotel late, since it's on every morning there.


Islamism / Nazism

"I don't think you can win it," he responded. "But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world."
Hmmmmm. Sounds very familliar....

Oh Yeah, that's how the US dealt with Nazism. We have never defeated Nazism, it still exists to this day, but it has been marginalized and, with the exception of whacked skinheads and a large number of muslims, is ineffectual and powerless. Sounds to me like Bush is proposing doing this to the Islamists. I see this as the only way to finally defeat Islamism. Islamism is a foul ideology that will always have some adherants, but if we can do to it what we've done to German National Socialism then we will truly have succeded.

Now if only we can finally do that to Stalinism, Maoism, Troskyism, and the numerous communist/socialist evil ideologies that populate the world and the United States.


Sunday, August 29, 2004

Rollback Clinton

John Kerry called for a rollback in Clinton era military manning policies. Well sorta. What he actually said was that we needed to double the size of our special forces and increase the size of our active duty forces. None of which would have been necessary were it not for the state that the Clinton administration left our military in. Certainly it was mostly a bi-partisan effort to enjoy a "peace dividend" that ignored the fact that the real peace dividend was peace; however, the Clinton administration was in a position to take a moral stand on our military and instead chose to slash our military and military training.

Now Kerry calls for a rollback of those policies, but fails to note why the rollback is needed. He fails to point out that it will take several years for all of this to happen, and only if the Democrats push for it. Doubtful since they've consistently, as a party, pushed the other way for years.


Aaargggh and the lack of net connect

My stay in Maryland has been pleasant with one REALLY sore spot. Internet connection. It sucks here at the Hamptom Inn, Edgewood. First the router near my room wasn't working so I had to come out to the lobby to check my mail. Then they got it working, but it was screwy so I had to come out to the lobby to send e-mail. Now, after last night's single brownout I'm back to coming out to the lobby for any internet access at all.


Well, maybe next weeks sojourn to DC will make up for it. After all, all the lefty moonbats will probably be too pooped after the RNC to come down there and spoil my experience.


Friday, August 27, 2004


I'm trying to find information on voting out of state (don't want to register in Oregon and start voting there) since my family is still in California, and I actually like the state in spite of the leftist leanings of it bureaucrats and politicos. So looking around I find that The Governator has his own site. Funny. Both "ha ha" and and strange.


Hate at all costs

Matt, at Froggy Ruminations has an excellent post about his reunion.

It pisses me off to hear people say they support our troops when they engender an atmosphere where people call our troops babykiller. It upsets me that the largest political party in the US would nominate someone who, aside from actually killing a baby, was partly responsible for this atmosphere during the Vietnam era, and who has failed to condemn the groups whose actions and rhetoric also promote this view. I don't know whether their goal is to demonize our country and its military, though my opinion is that it is so, but that is the effect and its an effect they are perfectly comfortable with.


REMFs at it again

Jason talks about CB. Seems his site is done. His commander was cool with it, and his peers and so many of us loved both the gritty information and writing. Seems some REMF decided it needed to be taken down. It seems that NPR's accusation of him being disciplined (which CB says "NPR totally f*(&* it up) has become prophechy and the REMFs have yet another feather in their botchup cap.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Knee-Jerks on Booksellers

BuzzMachine... by Jeff Jarvis notes the furor over bookstores running out copies of Unfit for Command. People are accusing them of hiding the book, or refusing to sell it. Regnery has said that moving up the date of publication is what has caused the shortage.

Most of his commentors seem to feel that it is loony right wingers making these charges. I understand, however, why the knee-jerk reaction is to blame the bookstores. Barnes and Noble, Bakersfield, had Hillary Clinton's book, Michael Moore's book and several others prominently displayed. I had to hunt to find Bill O'Reilly's book. It was three shelves below eye level. At eye level was half a shelf of Michael Moore's book, Stupid White Men, displayed with the cover out. I don't know why Barnes and Noble felt it had to display it this way when they already had it prominently displayed at the door.

Recently my wife and I went to a Barnes and Noble just outside Baltimore (Aberdeen or Abingdon or something) and I watched as an employee showed a customer where the books on politics were. Then the customer asked where Sean Hannity's new book was. He was told that it wasn't out yet. I said, "ummm, you mean that one there?" Then he asked for Michelle Malkin's new book. Again, not out yet. Again, "ummmm, you mean that one there?"
I'm getting odd looks from the employee (we call it stink-eye in Hawai'i).

It could have been that the B&N employee was new, or ignorant, or didn't know his job. I would have gone with any of those except for the looks. Oh, and the liberal and leftwing books were in the front of the store (even Chomsky's stuff). At the political display there were conservative books prominent, but more liberal books prominently displayed.

Experiences like that (and don't get me started on a bookstore in Washington I went to) will cause people to assume the worse about people and organizations. In this case they were all wrong, but that assumption is based on previous experience with the involved parties.


Tuesday, August 24, 2004

I'm a traitor

That's right, I'm a traitor, according to Mary Anne Marsh on Hannity and Colmes. Saw it last night, and today Instapundit links to it and comments on it. Okay, so I wasn't anywhere near old enough to have served in Vietnam, but I have friends who were. One of my closest friends spent his US Army stint in Germany. So according to Mary Anne Marsh he betrayed his country because he didn't serve in Vietnam.

It took me this long to cool down when I think about it. My wife said, "Oh my God," when Marsh said this and stared at me, seeing how pissed off I had suddenly gotten.

Here's the thing, Sean Hannity questioned her about that statement in what was an incredibly obvious attempt to give her a chance to take her statement back, or to clarify it, or apologize, or anything that didn't leave her statement as being a serious attack that implied that anyone who didn't serve in Vietnam betrayed their country.

Will John Kerry disavow this statement? Probably, one truly hopes so. Will he condemn her and her statement? Almost certainly not. Will he do anything about her? Again, almost certainly not. Will he do anything at all without being prompted by the media or politically powerful figures? Yet again, highly doubtful.

By the way, she's not some 527 schmuck, or weird extremist. Mary Anne Marsh is described by George E. Condon Jr of the Copley News Service in the Times Reporter as a "Boston-based Democratic strategist and longtime Kerry ally..."


Democrats love Republicans

John Kerry is giving a speech to Democrats in front of noted Republican Abraham Lincoln. Pretty funny stuff. An article on Opinion Editorials is also pretty enlightening about the Democrats.


More on Performance Reports

Polipundit, not real familliar with that blog, opines on the inflated Performance Reports. It's a good read and educated me about an era I don't know much about. I can tell you what they were like from the mid 80's to the mid 90's, and somewhat beyond since I still have friends who are AD.

Guess nothing has changed since then, since John Kerry's top rating put him in the top 50%. But then I figured that already.


Sunday, August 22, 2004

Update: Mustard munition

Three members of the USAF’s 436th CE Squadron’s EOD flight (Dover AFB) examined a “75mm MK II WWI vintage” shell that had not been fired. They then placed a charge on it to render it safe. This cracked the shell, and a “black substance was observed coming from the residue.” The pieces were collected, placed in a container and taken to the Dover AFB munitions storage area.

The next day two of the EOD airmen reported to work with skin rashes and blisters. Those two were taken to the hospital and released. The third was kept hospitalized in stable conditions with some very nasty blisters. The photos I’ve seen of his arms are very disturbing.

The munition was found in Bridgeville, Delaware and local authorities called Dover AFB for help. It had been taken to DAFB on the 19th of Jul 2004, and this incident happened the next day. As far as I can tell it was found in a road (at a poultry farm) that was made using crushed shells (the oyster kind). Surplus ammo was dumped in the ocean, and I guess no one is around who remembers that happened. One curious thing, however, is that you’d think someone would have noticed a 75mm round that is almost a foot in length while crushing the shells, or screening them for size, or screening to remove large rocks and such. But I don’t know that these actions were done, though if they were not it seems an odd lack of QA.

Mustard exposure is nasty. I personally know someone who got a single drop on himself, and the blistering was almost necrotic in nature and took a long time to finally heal.

I don’t know what the status is of that third airman, Google news searches aren’t helping, but I wish that man well. Aim High!


Inflated Performance

I'd like to point out something that every vet and AD knows. Performance reports are crap. You have to be more than just a screw up to get a bad one, you have to be on your commander's shit list. Even then it's no garauntee that you'll get a poor one. Hell, I got an article 15 and a demotion in rank once and still got a great (though not perfect this time) PR, and the written recommendation was friggin' glowing.

That written part is the important thing in reading into the PR. You look for how it's written and what is written. There are words and phrases that sound like glowing praise but are stock phrases used on almost everyone's PR whether they're good at what they do or not. Then there are the ones that sound more personal and are due to your immediate supervisor and chain of command actually giving you Kudos.


NBC shills for the Democrats again

Forced myself to sit through NBC’s news again tonight. I make an effort to sit through news coverage by noted Saddam ally CNN, and noted liberal mouthpieces like NBC, and political activist papers such as the LA Times and the New York Times. And it takes effort, a lot of it.

It took supreme effort to watch them shill for John Kerry today, watching them fail to bring any of the most serious questions and accusations raised by the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. They mentioned the questions about Kerry’s medals, but failed to do more than that, and failed to mention his Cambodia lie, or his dishonorable actions in front of congress while still an officer in the US Navy, let alone his private meetings with the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese representatives while a US Naval officer.

Now NBC did manage to highlight the Swiftboat Vet’s funding, linked to Republican contributors and a former Bush campaigner, but utterly failed to mention Move On . org’s vastly greater number of Democrat contributors and Democrat campaigners, or the Kerry Campaign’s official presence at Move On events.

They mentioned how Bush has failed to condemn the Swift Boat Vets specifically, and failed to mention Bush’s blanket condemnation of all the negative smear campaigns (which upon analysis shows that Bush doesn’t condemn the Vets since theirs is not a smear piece). While showing John Kerry condemning smear tactics, they failed to note that Kerry only condemned them after decorated Vietnam Veterans have begun to raise questions about his unfitness to be POTUS. Of course that also means they failed to show Kerry’s praise of smear tactics aimed at Bush prior to decorated Vietnam veterans bringing up questions.

And, of course, no mention of Kerry’s attempt to stifle free speech when it targets him.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Powerline and Facists

So powerlineblog got an e-mail from "Mike Germain ("fighting fascist dirt bags every single day") wrote:" Another writer, Billy, talks about fighting socialists in Korea. Billy trips me out being angry at "I have no respect for Right Wing Organizations who defend draft dodgers like George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfwitz, Karl Rove, and the most dangerous man in America, John Ashcroft." But as I recall the big push to promote draft-dodging (and dodgers), deserting (and deserters) has been from left wing organizations. Even today, it's not the Right Wingers promoting the cause and cheering deserters today, it's leftists.

These guys have been fed a line from somewhere that they've bought hook line and sinker that draft dodging and war-mongering is a Republican thing, though history has shown the Democrats are the ones who have sent the most Americans to their deaths in war (WWI, WWII and the Republicans did not start the Civil War). I'm sure neither are idiots, so why do they act like them?

Oh, and for Mike, did you volunteer or were you drafted (ie forced) to serve your country? And did you realize that John Kerry only enlisted after he couldn't get another draft deferment and was going to get drafted anyway? Or that he volunteered for the safest duty he could find, and that it was a twist of fate that turned the swift boats into a dangerous duty after he volunteered for offshore duty?


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Hidden WMDs

I read an Air Force report (might have been a press release) sent to an aquaintance today. Seems that some divers off Delaware found an old artillery shell. They called the authorities who called Dover AFB.

EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) went to take care of it. They cracked the shell and one of the EOD guys was exposed to blister agent. As far as they can tell it is an old WWI chemical weapon shell.

Mustard is a known carcinogen, so this guy will have this hanging over him for the rest of his life. Not to mention the blistering, and the photos I saw were pretty nasty.

Dunno if this will make the news at all. I'm outside Baltimore, just a stone's throw from the Aberdeen Proving grounds, and haven't noticed anything locally or nationally. Though I haven't been making incredible effort to look for it either.


Okay, there's some confusion now, probably on my part. Articles online I've found say that these were found in crushed shells at poultry farms. Monday I'm going to go ahead and get a copy of the release and read the entire dang thing instead of just being grossed out by the photos.

'Nother Update:
Finally got a copy of the USAF release. Gonna read it and find out more now.

Just another Joe...er...John

So John Kerry cracks a joke:
Kerry notes that he has been traveling with Affleck and Edwards and that Edwards was once named the nation's sexiest politician by People magazine. "I feel like that SAT question: Which one of these is different?"

Hmmmm, I'm thinking that it would connect better if he had used the example of Sesame Street. But he connects better with people who identify with that punchline than with a Sesame Street punchline, or NASCAR, or just about anything blue-collar.

Funny thing is, for all the blue-collar folk in his party, his party is run by people disdainful of those same blue-collar folks.